12 C
Hamburg
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Home News Trudeau Government to force Montreal dockers back to work

Trudeau Government to force Montreal dockers back to work

Canada’s federal administration has tabled legislation that will outlaw the strike that began yesterday (27 April) as Montreal’s dockers failed to reach an accord over a new collective bargaining agreement with terminal employers.

According to local reports, the new legislation will impose arbitration on the dockers and the Maritime Employers Association (MEA), the employer’s representatives, with fines also imposed for non-compliance.

The Liberal Government, headed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, is expected to pass the expedited legislation with the support of the opposition Conservative Party of Canada. Smaller opposition parties have said they will oppose the legislation.

The Maritime Magazine, a Montreal-based publication, reported that “Under Bill C-29 providing for 'the resumption and continuation of operations at the Port of Montreal', a mediator-arbitrator will determine the final terms of the next collective agreement.”

After the bill becomes law all workers must return to work by one minute passed midnight of the next day. Fines of C$100,000 (US$80,670)/day can apply to the union or employer as well or a representative of the employer or union may be fined C$50,000/day (US$40,340) and C$1,000/day (US$806) for each person in violation of the law.

Labour Minister Filomena Tassi said the government had no choice but to act “When all other efforts have been exhausted and a work stoppage is causing significant economic harm to Canadians.”

Government intervention has been urged by business leaders across Canada and the Montreal Port Authority.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) criticised the new legislation saying it was “an affront to all workers in the country.”

Marc Ranger, CUPE Quebec regional director added, “The MEA refused to negotiate and resorted to various tactics to stay away from the bargaining table. The Liberal government is now acting as the employer and legislating employees back to work, restricting their rights to bargain collectively and strike. Fundamental rights are being denied. This is shameful for a government that calls itself a defender of the middle class."

The dispute at the Port of Montreal began after the previous collective bargaining agreement expired at the end of 2018, with the employers and workers accusing each other of bad faith in negotiations, and the MEA asking the courts to rule that the industrial action was illegal.

Latest Posts

EU puts money where its mouth is with green port funding

European Union has agreed funding for up to 10 pilot projects in sustainable and smart supply chains through port operations with 45 companies involved...

European container carriers increase charges worldwide

Three of the largest container lines in the world have announced a substantial number of rate increases to be implemented later in May and...

SM Merchant Marine to expand fleet and buy containers with IPO proceeds

SM Merchant Marine plans to use proceeds from its planned initial public offering in the second half of 2021 to expand its vessel and...

Antwerp leads “green” international consortium

An international consortium, called PIONEERS, of 46 partners led by the Port of Antwerp will receive a €25 million (US$30 million) grant from the...

New FMC Chairman calls for a review of US shipping law

Daniel Maffei, appointed chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), told industry figures last week that it is time for the US Government to...